The megalodon (Otodus megalodon) is the biggest shark species ever to have lived.
However, these ocean predators became extinct over 3.6 million years ago, making their huge teeth the best record we have of their size.
Fossilized teeth have been discovered on every continent except for Antarctica. So, wherever you are, there’s a chance to find them at the beach, and in the sea, streams, and rivers.
There are some locations with a much better chance of finding the giant shark’s teeth than others.
So, we’re going to let you know what is the best place to find megalodon teeth around the world.
The Best Places To Find Megalodon Teeth
So what is the best place to find Megalodon teeth? Before you head to one of these megalodon fossil locations, you need to check the current fossil hunting rules and regulations.
Different places can have their own unique rules. So be sure you know what is allowed, so you don’t get into trouble.
If you’re heading somewhere new, joining an organized fossil hunting tour can often be best.
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Local experts can show you precisely what to look for, which search methods to use, and where are the best places to find the largest fossil shark teeth.
1. The United States
For many, the United States is the best place to find ancient shark teeth. It’s also one of the best-cataloged places, so you’ll find plenty of local experience to tap.
Megalodon teeth are consistently found in the states along the southeastern Atlantic coast. However, as we’ll see, with the first state alphabetically, the Pacific also gets a look in.
If you’re looking for where to find fossilized shark teeth, you won’t go wrong in the area that’s appropriately named Shark Tooth Hill near Bakersfield.
The surrounding lands have been identified as between 15.2 and 16 million years old, when this area was below sea level and home to many prehistoric sharks.
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Megalodon remains are not as common here as on the Eastern coast.However, they have been found, along with fossilized remains of several other sharks, including the Hooked White (Carcharodon planus), a rare white shark only found in the Pacific.
Fossil hunting by the public is allowed at the Ernst Quarry, which is near Shark Tooth Hill. The actual hill is a National Natural Landmark and is currently only open to professional paleontologists.
The phosphate mines in Aurora have been an incredible source of Miocene and Pliocene fossils, including black megalodon shark teeth of exceptional quality.
Specimens from the Lee Creek Mine feature in the collections of many natural history museums.
If you want to go tooth hunting here, you should check before you travel, as the mines themselves are closed to the public at the time of writing.
However, all is not lost, as the Aurora Fossil Museum has an incredible collection of local megalodon fossils.
In addition, the local mines deliver tonnes of unfiltered sediment spoil to the museum, and you can sift some of this when you visit. It’s common to find smaller megalodon teeth and other fossils.
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If you want to hunt for megalodon teeth more naturally, then sorting through sand from the rivers and creeks in the area can be very rewarding.
Some people rate the rivers in South Carolina as the best locations for finding megalodon teeth. However, you must apply for a local permit before you go hunting.
One of the largest teeth ever was discovered in a coastal river here. Measuring 7 ¼” inches (18.42 cm) long, it was found by fossil hunter Vito Bertucci, who was known as the “Megalodon Man.”
To hunt for the best teeth, you’ll probably need to get wet. In fact, you might need to go underwater.
You can scuba dive in the Cooper River and find a treasure trove of shark teeth, including those from the megalodon.
The Cooper River cuts through several fossil-bearing layers as it winds to the Atlantic at Charleston. It’s an exceptional place to find fossils that have accumulated.
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However, diving here isn’t for beginners. Visibility can be close to zero, and there can be strong currents. There are dead trees and other obstacles to get tangled in, and you may meet an alligator!
If you want to try it, ensure you’re appropriately certified and go with a properly organized trip.
If diving for fossils doesn’t sound like your thing, there are plenty of land-based opportunities.
The area of Summerville has been the best on-land location. Unfortunately, a local construction boom has covered many of the best places.
However, it’s still possible, with a local guide, to find incredible locations.
Check out beaches at low tide when tidal estuaries and creeks often deliver easy-to-find teeth.
Try visiting Edisto Island, Folly Beach, Morris Island, or Myrtle Beach, and you’ll have an excellent chance to find teeth along the shoreline.
What beach has the most megalodon teeth? Venice Beach, Florida!
The city fathers of Sarasota even declared Venice “The Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”
Megalodon fossils occasionally wash up on the beach itself, so you can take a walk along the tideline and hope to spot something.
Alternatively, if you’re a scuba diver, you can charter a boat to search deeper waters where larger teeth tend to be found.
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However, if that doesn’t interest you, there’s a great alternative: to wade in the waters close to Manasota Key or the Venice Fishing Pier at Brohard Park and use a shark tooth sifter to sort through shovel fulls of bottom sediment.
Moving inland from Venice Beach, you’ll find excellent megalodon tooth-finding opportunities along the Peace River.
It’s thought that female megalodons used to visit the Peace River area to give birth.
They’d use the shallow waters covering the area in prehistoric times as a safe nursery for their young.
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Wading in the Peace River with a shovel and a shifter can be very rewarding, although it’s a good idea to ask locals for the best spots.
Other classic megalodon tooth sites like the Polk County phosphate mines are currently closed to visitors.
However, there are many opportunities to find megalodon remains in excellent condition in this state.
Georgia has been so well known for finding shark teeth that in 1976 the state legislature declared the fossil shark tooth the Georgia state fossil.
As prehistoric sea levels fell, different geological formations in Georgia became landlocked, sealing in megalodon teeth for us to find.
The best place to find high-quality megalodon teeth is by diving to the bottom of local rivers and bays, where teeth eroded from the sedimentary rock can readily be picked up.
Expert megalodon tooth hunters also head to the Shark Tooth Island site.
Dumped spoil dredged from the Savannah River since the 1800s is full of shark teeth.
Shark Tooth Island is reached by boat, and once you’ve arrived, it’s possible to discover megalodon remains lying in the mud.
In Maryland, you should visit the fossil collecting sites at Bayfront Park and Calvert Cliffs State Park.
It’s not allowed to dig into the cliffs themselves as it’s easy to cause a landslide.
However, there are still great chances to discover megalodon teeth along the beach.
Sifting through the bottom composition of the creek in Shark River Park can yield unexpected finds of shark teeth, including megalodon fossils.
The area is carefully regulated, and there are limits on the size of sifting screens you can use and the number of fossils you’re allowed to take away.
So, make sure you follow the rules carefully and don’t end up getting your fossil teeth confiscated.
Western Australia has been a fantastic place to discover megalodon teeth.
For example, in 2019, researchers discovered 38 fossil teeth embedded in limestone in just one location in Cape Range National Park.
It’s believed that the park was once a nursery ground for megalodon juveniles which explains why they can find so many teeth here.
3. The Caribbean
If you happen to be in the Caribbean, you should try visiting a limestone quarry. You may be lucky and find some unearthed fossils.
Well preserved fossilized megalodon teeth have a creamy white color and are often patterned with rust orange, peach, light lavender, and black.
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Miners are looking for megalodon teeth, thanks to their high resale value. However, as they use power tools to extract the limestone, teeth often get slightly damaged. So, you may be able to get a bargain on a B-grade specimen.
Phosphate mines in Chile are known for some of the very best specimens of megalodon teeth, and collectors highly prize them.
The Atacama Desert near the country’s northern Pacific coast has also had numerous megalodon fossil discoveries.
Famously, the English naturalist Charles Darwin found megalodon teeth here during his explorations in 1835.
However, before you head off, you should know that all fossils in Chile are now protected by law, and removal from the country is illegal.
Megalodon teeth found in limestone in West Java, Indonesia, often have some of the most stunning colors found anywhere, including vivid reds, golds, tans, blues, and browns.
Local farmers collect teeth using hand tools, meaning that the teeth are beautifully preserved with excellent sharp serrations.
Divers visiting cenote caves in the Yucatán state often find huge shark teeth embedded in rock as they explore.
It’s not that the megalodon swam in these caves, but rather that the cenotes have opened up in geological layers made from prehistoric sediment.
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So, not only is cenote diving exhilarating, but it could also reward you with a perfectly preserved megalodon tooth.
Morocco has vast phosphate deposits, and it’s one of the best sources in the world for black megalodon teeth.
Visiting to look for teeth for yourself may be an adventure.
However, as perfect specimens reaching up to seven inches long are frequently found in Morocco’s mines, it may be worth it.
Researchers from the University of Florida discovered a megalodon shark nursery site off the coast of Panama, making this country another incredible opportunity.
The best chances appear to be from diving in calm bays. However, fossilized megalodon teeth have also been found in quarries where teeth have been discovered in sandy soil.
The Ocucaje Desert was once a shallow bay off the shore of South America.
However, now it is a fantastic source of fossils, including megalodon teeth.
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The Peruvian government has banned the export of fossils, so if you are offered one, you need to be sure it comes from an old collection.
10. The United Kingdom
Proving that you can go megalodon teeth hunting almost anywhere, they’ve even been found on beaches in the UK, including on the Suffolk coast and in Essex.
The National History Museum in London comments that megalodon teeth are “extremely rare in the UK and tend to be of poor quality.”
However, if you’re lucky enough to find one while walking on the beach, we’re sure you’ll be pretty happy.
How To Find Megalodon Shark Teeth?
How easy is it to find a megalodon tooth? A lot is luck and being in the right place.
How to find megalodon teeth is very different from one place to another. So, if you’re visiting somewhere especially, seek local advice beforehand.
One of the best tips is to know what you’re looking for. Train your eyes to look for the distinctive triangular shape of the megalodon tooth.
The angular shape can stand out if you’re hunting on muddy land or searching in a quarry.
Many of the best places to find megalodon teeth fossils are riverbeds or shallow ocean waters. This means you’ll need to either dive to search or use a sifting screen to soft teeth after digging into the sand.
Try walking the shoreline after a low morning tide when new items may be exposed in areas where megalodon teeth are known to get washed up.
It’s also well worth visiting after a storm when larger teeth are more likely to be washed up.
Walk slowly along near the waterline and look for contrasting colors and shapes.
As we’ve seen, you can find shark teeth almost anywhere there’s been coastal water.
There are undoubtedly hotspots worldwide, and the best thing you can do if you’re planning a trip is seek out local advice to increase your chances.
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However, the best place to find megalodon teeth could be just around the corner from you.
So, always keep your eyes open at the beach or around the water. You never know what you may find!
British-born Dan has been a scuba instructor and guide in Egypt's Red Sea since 2010.
Dan loves inspiring safe, fun, and environmentally responsible diving and particularly enjoys the opportunity to dive with sharks or investigate local shipwrecks.
When not spending time underwater, Dan can usually be found biking and hiking in Sharm's desert surroundings.